Garrett Ladd was one of four players signed by the Adirondack Thunder in July. Ladd, the 2013 WIAC Player of the Year joins the Thunder after he made his ECHL debut last season with Stockton. The forward appeared in four games with the Thunder at the end of the season after he finished his collegiate career with Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Describe your game to someone who’s never seen you play
Garrett Ladd: I play with a lot of speed, I’m creative in the offensive zone, creating plays for other guys and I can also find the back of the net when I need to. Defensively, I keep things basic and play a strong game in the defensive zone, make simple plays to get the puck out and move it towards the offensive zone.
What have been the differences from adjusting from college hockey to ECHL Hockey?
GL: Everyone [at the ECHL level] knows exactly what the systems are, the puck moves so much faster and guys are always in the right spot. It’s a lot faster than the college game, but on top of the speed is also the puck movement. It’s a lot faster and you need to understand where to be on the ice at all times and have good hockey sense to find the areas to get the puck.
You played with defenseman Kyle Brodie in college and with Stockton last season, did having a teammate make the jump with you ease the transition?
GL: It was huge to help me get comfortable in a new situation [in Stockton]. I came in for the last four games from a Division Three school to a place where guys had been there the whole year. Having [Brodie] there was a huge benefit and support system. I also knew some other guys on the Thunder from skating over the summer or friends of a friend, which definitely helped take off some of the pressure to enjoy the experience and get used to the game.
You scored in your first professional game last season, what was that moment like?
GL: You hear about it all the time, but when I had the opportunity to play professional hockey, that alone gave me that ‘wow’ feeling. I didn’t actually realize I scored the goal at first, it wasn’t anything pretty, but just to be able to say I scored in my first pro hockey game, it’s something special and I’ll never forget it.
Was that your favorite hockey moment or does another one top it?
GL: To be able to go to the National Tournament in back-to-back years was special. We didn’t get to win the tournament but we made it to the last game in two years straight. That’s something that not a lot of programs at the D1 or D3 level get to do is go back-to-back in that final game. Losing was tough to swallow but being able to bounce back the following weekend and have the chance to play professional hockey and score a goal in my first pro hockey game was a whirlwind of things happening in one week, it was really cool.
What do you like to do off the ice?
GL: “I live on a lake so all water sports (skiing, wakeboarding, barefooting). I do pretty much all of the water sports you can think of and when I’m not on the water or training for hockey I’m usually on the golf course. I live pretty close to a golf course so I’m out there quite a bit as well.
Movie: Happy Gilmore
TV Show: Ray Donovan
Sports Team: Detroit Red Wings
*Editor's Note: With the history in Glens Falls, I assume Garrett is already a fan favorite based on his Red Wings answer!
What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming season?
GL: I’m excited to get a full professional season with a full amount of games to play. In college you only play 25 or 30 games in a season and I’m ready to get into the pro schedule. I’d love to be part of a team that’s a new franchise but can make some noise, have a big run and who knows maybe do something really special as a first year franchise.